WASHINGTON — The House is expected to pass a bill this week aimed at making it easier for victims of pay discrimination to file lawsuits against employers, paving the way for President Obama to sign the first bill of his presidency.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would reverse a Supreme Court decision and allow employees to sue as long as they filed a lawsuit within 180 days of any paycheck deemed discriminatory. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in a case involving Ledbetter, a former Goodyear Tire & Co. employee, that alleged victims of wage discrimination must file a complaint within 180 days of their first paycheck or lose the right to sue. As a result, Ledbetter lost $300,000 awarded to her by a lower court for pay discrimination over more than 20 years at Goodyear.
“This bill is a victory for American workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “Today, Republicans and Democrats united around ensuring that hardworking individuals across this country should be paid fairly and that they will have a fair shot to fight back when they are not.”
The symbolism of a wage-discrimination bill marking the first of Obama’s tenure in the White House was not lost on labor groups that see it as a critical element of their agenda and a possible prelude to a much larger battle in Congress over legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize a union.
“We are in a new era now, where the concerns of working people are at the front and center of the administration,” said Mark Levinson, chief economist at UNITE HERE, the main apparel and textile union that also represents hotel and restaurant employees. “It doesn’t mean we will get everything we want or win all of our battles, but the politics have changed in a major way, and this is an example.”
The business community, concerned the act would open the floodgates to legal action against employers, lobbied vigorously against it.
Rob Green, vice president of government and political affairs at the National Retail Federation, said the bill is much more overarching than the Supreme Court decision in the Ledbetter case.
“The way the legislation is structured there is a likelihood that it could be years or decades before discrimination cases are filed [by one employee], and there is a great deal more exposure for employers of all types when you have the potential for open-ended opportunities for lawsuits regardless of their merit,” Green said.
The House passed the bill earlier this month but combined it with a second wage-discrimination bill before sending it to the Senate. The Senate narrowed the scope of the bill it passed on Thursday night to just the Ledbetter language, and now the House must pass it again.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)